When should you start going to university open days?
Mar 25, 2018, by Jemma
It's a good question, when should you start going to open days? Is there an age limit? Have I left it too late? First things first, it's never too early, so if you want to attend an open day to get a feel for what it's all about - you'll be welcomed with open arms. If you've left it late, don't panic, when you apply to university, you'll be invited to 'Applicant Taster Days' so make sure you take advantage of these events to help you with your decision.
Year 11 (16 and younger)
You might be thinking you're too young to attend open days, but you would be more than welcome to visit.This might be the first time you've been to visit a university, so it will really help you get to grips with it all, even if it's just to get your bearings and understand what you're looking out for when the more serious visits start.
Year 12 (aged 16/17)
Year 12. It's the perfect time to go to open days, this phase of research will allow you to get under the skin of the university facilities, campus and student digs. Take advantage of talking to students, academic staff, support staff and find out the detail of the programme you're interested in studying.
Beyond the classroom, you may want to look at the lifestyle you'll have as a student, what do you want from your wider university experience? Do you want to be in a city or town? A large university or small? What are the surrounding areas like? The culture... The shopping... The nightlife. If sports are your thing, do they cater to your interests? By taking the time to look beyond the academic aspect of choosing a university, you'll understand if you'll be happy living there.
Come Spring/Summer of Year 12, you've got less than 12 months before you'll be submitting your UCAS application... Yikes! So if you didn't manage any open days before December, take advantage of events happening from March onwards.
Don't just take our word for it, Twitter agreed!
Year 13 (aged 17/18)
You've got a small window to attend open days before your UCAS deadline; September, October and November are peak months for open days. December is quieter, as is January, but some universities will be hosting smaller scale events during this time. Did you miss a university open day in Year 12 that you want to get to? Do you want to revisit any universities? Or do you feel confident in your choices that you just want to finalise your priority list?